Should I Get a Second Opinion from a Back Surgeon in Atlanta, Georgia?

If you are considering the option of elective back surgery to treat your degenerative spine condition because your physician or a spine specialist feels that surgery offers you the best chance for pain relief, it is important to get a second opinion before consenting to a procedure. Elective surgery for neck or back pain should only be considered as a last resort after a wide range of conservative treatments, such as physical therapy and steroid injections, have been tried. Getting a second or even third opinion from various back surgeons and other specialists in the Atlanta, GA, area can help you to get a broader range of perspectives and make a more informed decision regarding the path that your care should take.

How to obtain a second opinion from a back surgeon in Atlanta, GA

Some people are hesitant to get a second opinion from a back surgeon or other medical professional out of a sense of loyalty to their current specialist. However, keep in mind that all physicians and surgeons should want their patients to be as informed as possible about their conditions and the treatment options available to them. Don’t be scared to ask your physician for recommendations about which back surgeon to see for a second opinion. You can also ask friends, family members, your primary care physician or local medical societies for names of surgeons who specialize in treating your particular condition.

Prior to getting a second opinion, you will want to:

  • Ask your current physician to send all of your medical records and imaging scans to the new surgeon you will be visiting
  • Make a list of questions you would like to ask the back surgeon about your condition and whether he or she thinks that surgery is the right treatment
  • Ask a friend or family member to accompany you to the appointment, both for support and so that someone else can ask any questions you may have overlooked

The new back surgeon will likely perform a physical exam, review your medical history and ask you about your symptoms. He or she may also order additional imaging scans.

How to deal with different first and second opinions

In some cases, your each back surgeon you visit may offer different opinions. If this occurs, don’t panic or assume that nobody knows how to treat your condition. Simply discuss each specialists opinion with your original medical care provider, weigh the pros and cons of each treatment option and consider getting an opinion from another back surgeon, whether it’s in the Atlanta, GA, area or you wish to travel elsewhere to see a particular specialist.